Five not-so-obvious traits of a great marketer


Great marketing takes skill, personality and experience among many other things.

During my years of working in marketing I’ve noticed that as well as the obvious there are a number of more subtle attributes which can make the difference between an average marketer and one who is truly exceptional.

Here are five traits which might not immediately spring to mind when you think about what it takes to be an outstanding marketer but which I believe are essential if you want to separate the good from the great.

1. Possesses great team skills

Marketing involves collaboration and in order to be effective, a marketer needs to be able to work as well in a team as they can autonomously. Marketers who take a “my way or the highway” approach are likely to alienate their clients, their audience and any other professionals they are working with and could miss out on valuable ideas and feedback.

2. Listens as much as they talk

Listening is one of the most valuable skills a marketer can possess. They need to listen to their clients to gain a true understanding of the businesses they represent and most importantly, a great marketer listens to their audience and actively seeks feedback. Content marketing is one of the most powerful promotional tools available and it starts with listening to the needs of the target audience.

3. Understands the power of a story

Storytelling is the oldest form of marketing and to market a brand effectively you need to be able to create a story and convey it to the target audience in a way that will engage them. A business’ story can be told across a number of different channels and platforms including social media, blogging and print marketing materials. Not all stories are effective and a great marketer will know how to take your brand and turn it into a compelling story that your readers will want to share with others.

4. Spends time away from their desk

Great marketing requires more than sitting at a keyboard all day. Self-motivated marketers get out and about. Building ties with the local community can be a highly effective way to increase exposure and find new opportunities. Outstanding marketers understand the power of personal interaction. Word of mouth marketing is still highly valuable in an age of online marketing and someone will spend time building connections and interacting with people face to face is worth their weight in gold.

5. Uses their imagination

We live in an increasingly media saturated world and with so many different businesses vying for audience attention, it takes imagination to truly stand out. A great marketer is someone who has a good imagination and can think of creative solutions to problems which nobody else has come up with.

Truly outstanding marketers demonstrate the above and more. As marketing becomes increasingly complex and audiences ever more fragmented, the demand for outstanding marketers is only going to grow. What do you think makes a great marketer and how does yours match up?